Adult Volunteer Program

Adult Volunteer Programs

This is a year-round program.  These volunteers work in key areas of the Zoo side-by-side with staff members.  Information sessions for prospective adult volunteers are held two times a year Spring and Fall.  After completing an interview and passing a background check, newly accepted volunteers attend an orientation training program.  Training for specific positions is accomplished by working alongside an experienced volunteer or staff member.  You should note that becoming a Docent requires specialized classroom training.

Volunteer Requirements:

All volunteers must...

  • Be a minimum of 18 years of age and a high school graduate.
  • Complete an interview and agree to a criminal background check.
  • Be willing to commit a minimum of one year to the program and 60 hours of service per year (five hours per month).  Successfully complete the required training for the positions in which they have been placed.
  • Be members of the Zoological Society of Florida (ZSF).
  • Purchase a uniform shirt.  Khaki shorts, slacks, or skirts, white socks, close-toed shoes and an official name badge complete the uniform.

Animal Handling Requirements:

For most volunteer positions, animal contact is minimal.  For those positions which require the handling of animals, a negative TB test with in the last year must be provided by the volunteer.

*The only animals handled by volunteers are the small mammals, birds and reptiles found in the Children's Zoo.

Volunteer Benefits:

  • An opportunity to become a part of wildlife conservation and education in your community.
  • The chance to meet people and share the excitement of  Zoo Miami.
  • Free ZSF membership after one year of volunteer service with the minimum 60-hour requirement.
  • Gift shop and food concession discounts.
  • Recognition and incentive awards.
  • Social events.
  • An opportunity to make new friends and spend time in one of the top ten Zoos in the United States.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Administrative Volunteers

Volunteers provide technical support to various departments in the Zoo and the ZSF offices.

American Bankers Family Aviary - Wings of Asia Volunteers

Volunteers interact with visitors in the Aviary plaza, as well as inside the Aviary's educational observation center.  Docents point out birds and interpret behavior inside the Aviary's free-flight area.

Children's Zoo Volunteers

Volunteers interact with children and adults in the petting zoo and provide opportunities for close-up encounters in the small animal exhibit called Toadstool.

Docents

Docents are interpretive volunteers who educate the public about animals and the natural world and promote positive attitudes towards conservation.  After an special training course, Docents may work in any of the following areas:
  • Animal Close Ups:
    Docents provide impromptu educational presentations to visitors using biofacts or live animals in the Children's Zoo and throughout the Zoo.

  • Station Interpreter:
    Docents chat with visitors and conduct informal educational programs at various stations and exhibits throughout the Zoo.

  • Walking Tours:
    Docents provide walking tours for the general public, special groups and school groups within the Zoo. 

  • Cart Tours:
    Docents conduct especially scheduled cart tours through ZSF.

Specialists

Volunteers serve as exhibit interpreters for visitors in Dr. Wilde's World, the Zoo's indoor gallery, which features seasonal and traveling exhibits. Specialists are also found in the Children's Zoo's Toadstool and in the petting yard.

Horticulture

Volunteers assist with the care of the plant collection on Zoo grounds and in the Zoo nursery.  Tasks include watering, pruning, mulching, weeding and planting new plants.

Special Projects and Events

Volunteers participate in a variety of short-term projects or events that may include assisting with fundraising activities and special events, such as Feast with the Beasts, ZooBoo!, and the Great Zoo Miami Egg Safari.  They also conduct visitor surveys; staff booths at community relations events and fairs and work  on membership drives and phone banks.

Apply:

To receive an invitation to our next  information session, fill out our online request form or call our Volunteer Coordinator at 305-255-5551.